Date of Award

1-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Shelley Jallow

Abstract

Ethical transgression is an ongoing problem in higher education. There is a relationship between the perceived ethical climate of an organization and the ethical behavior of its employees, and that ethical climate can be a predictor of ethical behavior. The ethical climate types are: egoistic, deontological, and utilitarian. This quantitative study measured and identified the perceived ethical climate of administrators and full-time faculty at a higher education institution, and then compared the results to determine if there was a significant difference in perception. Given that administrators and faculty are critical and influential employees, predicting their ethical behavior is beneficial for higher education institutions and their leadership. This study used a survey instrument to measure the perceived ethical climate. The findings revealed that the deontological climate was the prevailing perceived ethical climate for both administrators and full-time faculty in the studied higher education institution. A deontological ethical climate positively correlates to good ethical behavior. Measuring of ethical climate is suggested and should be conducted as a common practice in higher education institutions to proactively manage the perceived ethical climate. This practice could help college and university leadership predict unethical behavior, and it would prompt the leadership to take the necessary actions to promote a positive ethical climate. Continual research is also suggested of ethics in higher education as it is critical to understanding what may cause ethical transgressions, and it would be an avenue to better manage the ethical behavior of employees to prevent future ethical transgressions.

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